To mark UK Parliament Week 2022, AVOW will be sharing information designed to serve as a refresher, or an introduction, for some everyday political process facts which may be easily lost in the whirlwind of news and information. AVOW were assisted in compiling this information by our volunteer, Mike Ashfield. Today’s topic is…
What are the key differences between The Senedd and the Houses of Parliament?
The Senedd | Welsh Parliament:
- The Senedd is a devolved parliament who have the power to make Wales-specific legislation/laws (split from UK Parliament in 1998).
- The Senedd comprises 60 members who are known as Members of the Senedd (Welsh: Aelodau o’r Senedd), abbreviated as ‘MS’ (Welsh: AS).
- 40 MSs represent smaller geographical divisions known as ‘constituencies’ and are elected through voting.
- 20 MSs represent five ‘electoral regions’ through proportional representation.
- The UK Parliament still has the overall jurisdiction of many areas of law such as crime and policing, and immigration.
- Matters devolved to the Senedd include health, education, economic development, transport, the environment, agriculture, local government and some taxes.
Houses of Parliament | UK Parliament:
- Serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
- The House of Commons is the lower house of Parliament, consisting of 650 elected members known as Members of Parliament (MPs).
- The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of Parliament: membership is by appointment, heredity or official function (the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed).
- The House of Lords acts as a check on the more powerful House of Commons that is independent of the electoral process. While unable to prevent bills from passing into law (except in certain limited circumstances) it can delay bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions.
- The government is solely responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as they retain the confidence of a majority of the Commons.